Lisa Oakley, Preena Ranpuria, Rebecca Griffiths
Hard-working De Montfort University (DMU) law student Preena Ranpuria swept the board at a prize-giving ceremony held to reward the faculty’s top students.
The Leicester Institute of Legal Practice (LILP), part of Leicester De Montfort Law School, hold this annual event just after graduation and Preena won three awards.
She earned the highest marks on Stages I and II of the part-time Legal Practice Course and was also named best part-time student on that course.
Preena, who managed to combine her studies with working at Smith & Wells Solicitors in Coventry, was delighted.
She said: “When you're studying part time as well as working full-time, you need to strike a balance and organisation and time management are the keys to success. When you've worked so hard it’s nice to get some recognition for it.”
The award for best full-time student on Stage I of the Legal Practice Course went to Rebecca Griffiths, from Oakham.
She has just secured a job working in Derby with Smith Partnership, one of the largest solicitors’ firms in the East Midlands. She said: “It’s fantastic. This was a bit of a shock – I honestly didn’t expect it at all.”
Mum Lisa Oakley, of Norwich, won the ILEX Tutorial College prize for the best student on the part-time Graduate Diploma in Law course.
She said: “I could not be happier! I was really shocked when I found out, I had to do a double-take. Passing this is the final hurdle and although it has been hard work, I have had such support from my lecturers and friends.”
Representatives from some of Leicestershire’s top law firms were on hand to congratulate students and show their support for LILP.
Steve Swanton, senior partner at Astills, Leicester, is deputy vice-president of Leicestershire Law Society which works closely with DMU.
He said: “We are very proud to be involved in the university prize-giving. There are a lot of talented students here and of course many graduates from DMU are moving into practices in Leicestershire, so it is important for the Society to support them.”
Mary Mackintosh of Freeth Cartwright LLP’s Leicester branch is a DMU alumnus. She said: “As Freeth Cartwright is a local law firm, we always encourage local applications from graduates. We have close links with DMU and we feel these awards are a way of investing in the future.”
This is the first time that Nelsons has awarded a prize. James Coningsby, partner in the firm, was on hand to present Preena with one of her awards.
He said: “It’s absolutely key to develop relationships with universities. One of the worrying things about law is that we have two great universities, but we don’t retain our graduates or postgraduates for the local profession.
“Events like this give us the opportunity to develop ties with the students and hopefully, it’s a way that we can give the brightest and most able students locally an incentive to stay with the profession locally.
“Leicestershire has some great firms, the quality of life, more involvement in practice and job satisfaction.”
Kerrie Deakin, Head of LILP, said: “The links which we have with local firms are absolutely key for us in terms of employability. It means that we know of any opportunities and vacancies and can inform the students. And knowing that we have the support of some of the biggest firms in the area is an endorsement for our courses.”
Here is the full list of winners:
Irwin Mitchell LLP Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course (Full Time)
£250 and a week's work experience at Birmingham office
Irwin Mitchell LLP Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course (Part Time)
£250 a week's work experience at Birmingham office
Freeth Cartwright LLP Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course Full Time (Stage I)
Nelsons Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course Part Time (Stage I)
£150 and a week's work experience
Leicestershire Law Society Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course (Stage II – Elective - Full Time)
Leicestershire Law Society Prize for the Best Student on the Legal Practice Course (Stage II – Elective - Part Time)
British Gas Cup and Sweet & Maxwell Vocational Law Prize for the Best Student on the Graduate Diploma in Law Course (Full Time)
Cup plus £100 book tokens
ILEX Tutorial College Prize for the Best Student on the Graduate Diploma in Law Course (Part Time)
Posted on Wednesday 13th February 2013